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No Court-Martial for Marine Taped Killing Unarmed Iraqi

Kevin Sites at the studios of NPR West in Culver City, Calif.
David Banks, NPR /
Kevin Sites at the studios of NPR West in Culver City, Calif.

Alex Chadwick talks with freelance journalist Kevin Sites about footage he videotaped last November in Iraq that appeared to show a U.S. Marine shooting an unarmed Iraqi in a Fallujah mosque.

The U.S. Marine Corps announced that it won’t prosecute that Marine corporal, who was not identified, for his actions.

Sites was on assignment for NBC on Nov. 13, 2004, and was following a squad into a mosque that the day before insurgents were using to fire on U.S. troops. The Marines were part of a U.S.-led offensive to clear Fallujah of its insurgent strongholds.

Sites' video shows five men wounded from the previous day's fighting lying on the floor of the mosque. One Marine can be heard shouting to others that a man was only "playing dead."

The Marine corporal in question appears to fire a round from his weapon into the Iraqi's head, and another Marine says, "Dead now."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alex Chadwick
For more than 30 years, Alex Chadwick has been bringing the world to NPR listeners as an NPR News producer, program host and currently senior correspondent. He's reported from every continent except Antarctica.